The United States Department of Agriculture reported today that 14 percent of American households remain food insecure – meaning 1 in 7 households in the United States had difficulty at some time during the year in providing enough food for all their members. The report reinforces the significant challenges millions of American families continue to face in the wake of the recession. Household food insecurity increased by approximately 35 percent between 2007 and 2008 and has remained stubbornly high since then.
“These numbers reinforce the importance of strengthening both federal anti-hunger programs and charitable food assistance. Economic recovery remains elusive for many low-income families. It’s unacceptable that so many of our neighbors, friends and families don’t have enough food for themselves or their families,” said Bob Aiken, Feeding America CEO. “It's because of numbers like these that we need to maintain and pass common sense legislation that helps keep our communities strong.”
Strengthening federal tax incentives for businesses who donate food to food banks and other qualified non-profits would help farmers, small businesses and food banks, as well as the environment. With about 70 billion pounds of food wasted each year, including 6 billion pounds of produce, tax policy can help secure additional donations at a time when food banks are stretched meeting sustained high demand.
Congress will also have the opportunity to strengthen vital programs providing meals to children in need both in and outside of school, as it begins work on the 2015 Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act next year.
“Our nation’s food banks are already stretched thin and we know that we all have a role to play in solving hunger. We urge Congress to maintain Washington’s long-standing, bipartisan commitment to protecting programs that help struggling families put food on their tables. We encourage every Member of Congress to visit their local food bank and learn how food insecurity impacts their communities.”
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Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.